Do case studies mislead about the nature of reality?
This paper attempts a partial, critical look at the construction and use of case studies in ethics education. It argues that the authors and users of case studies are often insufficiently aware of the literary nature of these artefacts: this may lead to some confusion between fiction and reality. Issues of the nature of the genre, the fictional, story-constructing aspect of case studies, the nature of authorship, and the purposes and uses of case studies as "texts" are outlined and discussed. The paper concludes with some critical questions that can be applied to the construction and use of case studies in the light of the foregoing analysis. (+info)
Frequency of policy recommendations in epidemiologic publications.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and character of policy statements in epidemiologic reports. METHODS: The first author followed a standardized protocol and reviewed a random sample of articles selected from the American Journal of Epidemiology, Annals of Epidemiology, and Epidemiology. The second author reviewed all articles with policy statements and a 10% sample without such statements. RESULTS: Overall, 23.8% of the articles contained policy statements. Annals of Epidemiology and the American Journal of Epidemiology had similar frequencies of articles with policy statements (30% and 26.7%, respectively), while Epidemiology evidenced the lowest frequency (8.3%). The majority of policy statements (55%) pertained to public health practice; 27.5% involved clinical practice, and the remainder (17.5%) focused on corporate policies, regulatory actions, or undefined arenas. The frequency of policy statements differed according to first author's affiliation, type of publication, area of research, research design, and study population. CONCLUSIONS: Although a minority of publications included policy statements, the inclusion of a statement seemed to be influenced by specific study characteristics. (+info)
Health related research in Bangladesh: MEDLINE based analysis.
BACKGROUND: Health research is not a priority sector in Bangladesh. By and large, physicians and academicians are neither interested nor are they properly trained to conduct quality research. The objective of this study is to quantify the volume of researches related to health in Bangladesh with a view to propose remedial measures. METHODS: Data regarding health research, originating from Bangladesh during the period of 1990-1996, were extracted from MEDLINE database using certain inclusion criteria. Data on name of the institution, main author (Bangladeshi or foreigner), country of publication, and research topics were abstracted and analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: A total of 580 (on average 83 per year) articles met the inclusion criteria. About two-third (64.0%) of the researches were from International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, followed by Institute of Post Graduate Medicine & Research with 5.7%. Seven medical colleges and one dental college collectively contributed 5.8%. Infectious diseases was the single largest (54.8%) topic dealt with, followed by non-infectious diseases (7.7%), and nutrition and nutrition-related diseases (6.9%). CONCLUSION: The number of research articles from Bangladesh is very small possibly owing to the lack of proper training and funding shortage. Incorporating research methodology in both graduate and postgraduate medical education, appointing researchers in clinical and academic departments and allocating more funding towards research activities are necessary to boost health related research activities in Bangladesh. (+info)
Office of Research Integrity: a reflection of disputes and misunderstandings.
Each year, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) provides billions of dollars to support over 30,000 extramural research grants to more than 2,000 institutions in the U.S. and other countries. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is responsible for protecting the integrity of the research supported by the grants awarded for the PHS extramural research program. One of its responsibilities includes monitoring investigations into alleged or suspected scientific misconduct by institutions that receive the PHS funds. However, not all of the alleged or suspected scientific misconduct meet the the PHS definition of scientific misconduct. Among the wide range of allegations that the ORI receives are those that are ultimately determined to be authorship disputes. This article will report on ORI's functions and review some of the commonly reported allegations that do not constitute scientific misconduct according to the PHS definition. (+info)
At the end of the 20th century, access to information provided by the World Wide Web (WWW) is changing as never before. The fast availability of current medical literature and the availability of tools for easy access to information, as well as for the easy production of information, have confronted research physicians, scholars, and students with new kinds of problems, many of which concern us personally. Quality control, difficulty establishing basic citation components, lack of standard guidelines for citing, as well as the short lifetime of Internet addresses concern us deeply. Some of these problems could be solved by the concept of an "Online-Library of Medicine" presented in the following paper. Since, however, at the present time there are no good answers to the problems regarding citing Internet-based sources, a Web surfer must keep in his or her mind the motto "caveat lector" (let the reader beware) - or, rather, in the spirit of our time: click [email protected] before you cite. (+info)
Effect of blinding and unmasking on the quality of peer review.
The objectives of this study were to see whether, in the opinion of authors, blinding or unmasking or a combination of the two affects the quality of reviews and to compare authors' and editors' assessments. In a trial conducted in the British Medical Journal, 527 consecutive manuscripts were randomized into one of three groups, and each was sent to two reviewers, who were randomized to receive a blinded or an unblinded copy of the manuscript. Review quality was assessed by two editors and the corresponding author. There was no significant difference in assessment between groups or between editors and authors. Reviews recommending publication were scored more highly than those recommending rejection. (+info)
The use of electronic mail in biomedical communication.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether there are statistically significant differences in the content of electronic mail (e-mail) and conventional mail sent to authors of papers published in medical journals. DESIGN: Prospective study by postal questionnaire. Over two one-month periods, corresponding authors of papers published in medical journals were asked to record details of the correspondence prompted by their publications. MEASUREMENTS: Conventional and e-mail correspondence received. Reprint requests. Content of correspondence. Quality of correspondence. RESULTS: Eighty-two of 96 authors replied. Fifty received e-mail (mean, 5.7+/-8.8 e-mails per author) and 72 received conventional mail (15.5+/-32.8 letters per author) (p < 0.05). Seventy percent of e-mails and only 53% of correspondence sent by conventional mail (p < 0.05) referred to the content of the paper. CONCLUSIONS: Publication in general medical journals stimulates more conventional than electronic mail. However, the content of e-mail may be of greater scientific relevance. Electronic mail can be encouraged without fear of diminishing the quality of the communications received. (+info)
Biomedical publishing stands at a crossroads. The traditional print, peer-reviewed, subscription journal has served science well but is now being called into question. Because of spiraling print journal costs and the worldwide acceptance of the Internet as a valid publication medium, there is a compelling opportunity to re-examine our current paradigm and future options. This report illustrates the conflicts and restrictions inherent in the current publishing model and examines how the single act of permitting authors to retain copyright of their scholarly manuscripts may preserve the quality-control function of the current journal system while allowing PubMed Central, the Internet archiving system recently proposed by the director of the National Institutes of Health, to simplify and liberate access to the world's biomedical literature. (+info)